9:47. Definitely some chewy bits here, but my kids didn’t help! There’s a bit of loose wordplay, for my tastes, but I didn’t mind.
A brief summary of cryptic crosswords —feel free to skip— :
- Each clue has at least one “definition”: an unbroken string of words which more-or-less straightforwardly indicates the answer. A definition can be as simple as a one-word synonym; but it can also be a descriptive phrase like ‘I’m used to wind’ for REEL or SPOOL. A definition by example must be indicated by a phrase like ‘for example’, or, more commonly, a question mark (?). Thus ‘color’ is a definition of RED, while ‘red, for example’ or ‘red?’ are definitions of COLOR. Punctuation (and capitalization) is otherwise irrelevant.
- Each clue may also have an unbroken string of words which indicates the answer through wordplay, such as: using abbreviations; reversing the order of letters; indicating particular letters (first, last, outer, middle, every other, etc); placing words inside other words; rearranging letters (anagrams); replacing words by words that sound alike (homophones); and combinations of the above. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the general theme is to reinterpret ordinary words as referring to letters, so that for example ‘lion’s head’ indicates the first letter of LION: namely, L.
- Definitions and wordplay cannot overlap. The only other words allowed in clues are linking words or phrases that combine these. Thus we may see, for example: “(definition) gives (wordplay)” or “(definition) and (definition)” or “(wordplay) is (definition)”.
- The most common clues have either two definitions, or one definition plus wordplay, in either order. But a single, very misleading definition is not uncommon, and very occasionally a definition can also be interpreted as wordplay leading to the same answer. Triple definitions (and more) are also possible.
My conventions in the solutions below are to underline definitions (including a defining phrase); put linking words in [brackets]; and put all wordplay indicators in boldface. I also use a solidus (/) to help break up the clue where necessary, especially for double definitions without linking words.
After the solutions, I list all the wordplay indicators and abbreviations in a Glossary.
|1||Don’t hit / girl (4)|
|MISS – double definition|
|7||Radios covering / end of nasty dictatorships (9)|
|TYRANNIES – TRANNIES around Y|
|9||Total love [for] wrestling (4)|
|SUMO – SUM + O|
|10||Call for artist [to produce] exciting work (4-6)|
PAGE-TURNER – PAGE (call for) + TURNER
William Turner: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Turner_(painter)
|11||A short distance dogs perhaps returned (4)|
|STEP – PETS reversed|
|12||There is no variation / in any case (3,3,4)|
|ALL THE SAME – double definition|
|16||Pipe organ I played [for] two children (6,4)|
PIGEON PAIR – PIPE ORGAN I anagrammed
Pigeon pair: https://www.lexico.com/definition/pigeon_pair
|19||A container [is] not closed (4)|
|AJAR – A + JAR|
|21||Starting a baby [is] the idea (10)|
|CONCEPTION – double definition|
|23||Cultivate grand argument (4)|
|GROW – G + ROW|
|24||Endurance [of] ill-fitting red outfit (9)|
FORTITUDE – anagram of RED OUTFIT
This anagram took me ages.
|25||Controlled temperature [in] tirade (4)|
|RANT – RAN + T|
|2||Northern people in university computing (5)|
|INUIT – IN + U + IT|
|3||Strike [means] deduction from pay (8)|
STOPPAGE – double definition
|4||Like some of Bach’s music, full of runs [and] economical (6)|
|FRUGAL – FUGAL around R|
|5||Tin on top of long grass (6)|
SNITCH – SN + ITCH
Grass, definition 4: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/grass
|6||Part of school I arrange [for] storyteller (4)|
|LIAR – hidden in SCHOOL I ARRANGE|
|8||How erotic is a sauna? (6)|
STEAMY – cryptic (double) definition
I understand the clue to be asking: Which synonym of ‘erotic’ can also describe a sauna? (I’m not sure there’s a way to parse the clue as a straight double definition.)
|13||A gentle knocking [in] bathroom fitting (3)|
|TAP – double definition|
|14||Warden puts on a stone; I don’t recognise him (8)|
STRANGER – ST on RANGER
The second clue is an example of a descriptive phrase that alludes to the answer.
|15||Warning [that] waiter will get nothing? (3-3)|
TIP-OFF – “TIP OFF!” = “waiter will get nothing!”
Question mark because the clue suggests only one example of a warning.
|17||What baby needs [is] to sleep with family (6)|
NAPKIN – NAP + KIN
Napkin, definition 2: https://www.lexico.com/definition/napkin
|18||Problem in a rising display of hostility (6)|
|ANIMUS – SUM IN A reversed|
|20||Ranch of Ron’s regularly [provides] fruit (5)|
|ACORN – every other letter of RANCH OF RONS|
|22||Worry, [being] mixed race (4)|
|CARE – anagram of RACE|